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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  March 2, 2010 11:00am-12:59pm EST

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message. have you been affected by the unemployment benefits? 877-742-5760. keep your comment to 30 seconds or less. we appreciate it. thanks for joining us, everyone. see you back here tomorrow. brooke baldwin in for tony harris. >> thank you. today is the 2nd of march and here are the faces of the stories driving today's headlines. first we're talking about linda calvin out of jobless benefits and squeezed by her own senator, talking about kentucky republican jim bunning balking at emergency spending. and otis macdonald's lawyers in front of the supreme court right now asking the justices to strike down local gun bans. african-american myth -- methodists together. good tuesday morning, everyone. i'm brooke baldwin in for tony harris and you are in the "cnn newsroom." i may end up homeless.
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i may -- i don't know what the future holds for me right now. >> unemployed for almost a year. sound familiar? well, this woman's jobless benefits have completely run out. a bill to extend these benefits totally blocked by one single senator, republican jim bunning of kentucky. a democratic congressman from the same state says now is not the time to cut off benefits for so many people who are out of work. >> we know we've got -- we face long-term deficit situations but we also know that there's a balance to be struck. when you have people hurting, somebody is going to have to help them feed their families. >> just moments ago, senator bunning actually took to the senate floor to, once again, defend his position and that led to a heated back and forth. senior congressional correspondent dana bash is watching this whole thing for us, joining us from capitol hill with these details. dana, my first question which perhaps is just the obvious, not covering capitol hill, why can't
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democrats just work around this guy? why is it so important to have this unanimous voice vote? >> reporter: they can. they can work around him. it would take a couple of days and several votes to do it but they absolutely have the tools in their procedural chest to do that, but they don't want to on the democratic side. and it's primarily because they think that they have a good political issue here. these are popular benefits that senator bunning is blocking but bunning is saying, and he said it again this morning as he has for the past several days, that it's not that he doesn't want these benefits to be extended to people who don't have jobs, it's that he wants them to be paid for. so we caught up with the senator once again this morning to ask the question that some democrats are asking, which is why now? why this issue? when in the past he hasn't demanded that other issues be paid for. listen. >> i have really just a couple of easy questions for you to answer. >> i bet you do. >> sir, just specifically on the fact that i understand your
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point. i understand your point that you're making about the need to pay for these benefits. but what democrats are asking and i think it's a fair question is why now? why not before? >> it has been. >> reporter: why haven't you called -- what has changed? why are you now calling for things to be paid for? >> reporter: you see, brooke, not a lot of interest in answering a question there. but, as we said, senator bunning did go to the senate floor to once again object to democrats trying to get unanimous consent or basically unanimity among senators to vote to extend these benefits. and he tried to answer the question why now. listen. >> the question i've been asked mostly is why now? well, why not now? what better time for it than to stand up when the majority leader has the ability to do
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exactly on this bill, what he has done on 25 bills in the last five months. >> reporter: so senator bunning is saying, look, it's simple, everybody. we can pass this package of benefits, we just want to pay for it. democrats are saying on the senate floor and sources are telling us that they don't think that it is necessary to pay for this because they deem this emergency spending. that's on the policy side. and politically, at least for now as we speak, democrats think that they have a political winner in this argument with this issue and these benefits frozen because of the stand-off on the senate floor, brooke. >> as this may be, as you've said, a political plus for democrats, i can't let you go without asking about republicans. it was significant in the back and forth because we first heard from the very first republican voice in opposition of this. >> reporter: it's no secret that jim bunning has a pretty awful relationship with his fellow republicans, especially his republican leader, fellow kentuckyian mitch mcconnell who
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pushed him not to seek re-election and retire. that's a subplot here. but it was very interesting that mitch mcconnell went to the senate floor during this whole thing and he didn't -- it was like he was in the middle of -- in a parallel universe. he started speaking about health care. he ignored all of this going on. it was only one republican moderate of maine, susan collins, who came to the senate floor and actually said i don't agree with jim bunning and many of those republican colleagues don't agree and she tried to have another process or procedure to work around senator bunning. the democrats objected to that too. but it sounds like there is some boiling of frustration among bunning's fellow republicans who are -- do have to face voters in the near future and are concerned that this is politically bad for republicans. so i wouldn't be surprised if something changes with regard to republican silence broadly as the day goes on joo d. >> we're sorry we're seeing
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doors slammed in your face but that's part of being a reporter. dana bash for us on capitol hill. we are all over this story and will have much more from linda calvin, the unemployed worker who's totally out of benefits now. she says it's a desperate time and d.c. doesn't get it. more on her story later this hour. meantime, we also want to hear from you. call, leave me a message. have you been affected by the block on all these unemployment benefits? here's the number, 1-877-742-5760. all you have to do is leave your first name and don't forget where you're calling from, leave your comment to 30 seconds or less and as always you can jump on our blog at and we'll read those live. rising debt, the u.s. postal service could soon make saturday delivery just a memory. the usps is expected to make that announcement at some point today. also likely, more branch closings and expanded use of those self service kiosks. the agency posted a $3.8 billion
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loss last year with mail volume down just about 13%. and bad weather grounding planes across the south. airlines cancelling flights left and right simply as a precaution against this building snowstorm. take a look at the radar and you can see some of it coming down. 1 to 2, 2 to 4 inches. air tran cancelling flights and delta offering to reschedule flights threatened by the weather with no change fee. for the third time in a week toyota executives are explaining their safety recall to congress. three different executives are answering some questions before the senate commerce committee right now. toyota has asked president clinton's transportation secretary rodney slater to lead a, quote, quality control review. and let's take a look at some live pictures coming into us from the united states supreme court. here's what's going on there today. the justices are weighing in on one of their biggest cases of the year. it has to do with chicago and its controversial ban on handguns. the question they're addressing here is does it violate the
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second amendment? here is cnn's kate baldwin. >> reporter: this is one of the most important gun rights cases in our nation's history, and it's putting the spotlight squarely on chicago. in one of chicago's roughest southside neighborhoods, a rare safe haven for some of the city's most at-risk youth. >> they are looking backwards. if you would stay here two days you realize our young people walk looking backwards because of drive-byes. >> reporter: when diane opened up her own nonprofit seven years ago, she was fighting to stem the tide of gang activity in her neighborhood. >> what's up, dude. >> reporter: now she says she's just fighting to keep the kids alive, up against some of the worst gun violence the city has ever seen. and it has grabbed headlines. according to city statistics,
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chicago has the highest rate of youth homicide in the country. 36 killings in the last school year alone. 36 reasons latiger supports the handgun ban. >> reporter: so why have the ban in place if people are going to get them anyway. >> i'd rather something be in place than nothing be in place. >> reporter: that ban is now being challenged in a case that's made its way to the supreme court. a case brought by another chicago community activist, 76-year-old otis mcdonald. >> we wouldn't want to go down to the right here. >> reporter: why is that? >> because that's a hot area. >> reporter: hot meaning dangerous. >> mm-hmm. where the drug dealing and stuff goes on. >> reporter: mcdonald says he too fears for the safety of the community, but argues its his constitutional right to protect himself and his family from the violence. he wants the handgun ban lifted. >> that's all i want is just a fighting chance. give me the opportunity to at
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least make somebody else think about something before they come in my house on me. >> reporter: the supreme court almost two years ago struck down a similar ban in washington, but because d.c. is a federal district, the court left largely unanswered how gun laws apply to states and cities. when is comes down to it, why take on this ban? >> we're in a war, simply that. the innocent law-abiding citizens against the drug dealers and gang bangers. that's what it is. that's what it boils down to. >> reporter: but diane fears making handguns legal again will only mean more guns on the streets and more names she'll have to add to this memorial. >> reporter: how many are in there now? >> 201. >> reporter: and you said you're still five short. >> yeah. we're always behind. we're always behind. >> reporter: the court's ruling has the potential of overturning decades of gun control laws across the country, and may
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finally answer the question where does the power of the second amendment lie, with the individual or the government. kate baldwin, cnn, chicago. survivors fending for themselves and one another. three days after that 8.8 magnitude earthquake and then tsunami rocked chile, more from down there. also a southern snowstorm. rob marciano tracking this weather. he'll have that for us in just a moment. first, the latest on the dow. it's up 37 points this tuesday morning. sitting at 10,442. we are just getting started here in the "cnn newsroom." the smell of home made chili whatever scents fill your household, purina tidy cats scoop helps neutralize odors in multiple cat homes... keeping your house smelling like it should. purina tidy cats scoop.
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where advanced degrees advance the quality of life. so here's the situation in chile right now. it's really becoming a tale of two chiles following saturday's earthquake magnitude 8.8. life is starting to return to normal both in santiago and the northern areas, but central and southern regions continue to struggle with lack of food, lack of water, amid widespread looting. more than 700 people died in that massive quake and tsunami that soon after followed. chile's president said all emergency measurements should be in place by today. secretary of state hillary clinton is in the earthquake zone today. she was rocked by one of the several aftershocks that are still shaking that nation. our karl penhaul takes us
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through one of the hardest hit cities. >> reporter: this is one of the main streets in the coastal town of talcahuano. it wasn't just the earthquake that caused a problem, although that did damage some of the houses, but it was hit by a tsunami. two tsunami waves, they say, and that has brought thick sludge down into the streets. inches of the stuff. now take a look at this. this is a sardine boat. the fishermen say that this weighs at least 25 to 30 tons and it was just blown ashore, probably 600 meters from the sea, on a tsunami wave of about two meters they say. it would have been pitch black and the people that i've talked to say the first they heard of this wave was just a clatterring of the ship bashing against the houses, shipping containers washed ashore as well.
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they say it was completely terrifying. the way that the fishermen and other inhabitants describe the sound of those tsunami waves was terrifying enough, but even more frightening if you think what could have happened. now, as soon as that earthquake struck, the inhabitants say they ran out of their homes, but after that they say members of the navy and possibly also firefighters they say went around with megaphones telling them to go back inside their homes, there was no danger of a tsunami wave coming. now, the inhabitants here say that it's because they followed their instincts and listened to the experience of their fathers and forefathers that they survived. they say that if they had listened to the authorities and returned to their homes, hundreds would now be dead. this is the hilltop where the people ran to after the earthquake and before the first tsunami wave rolled in. now they're setting up tents. they have organized themselves into work groups. the men go out and find food.
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the women organize themselves to cook it. come with me now, i want to show you inside here. this is a fish canning warehouse. and what the people are doing, they're so hungry that they have come to get tins of this, whole tins here. this is mackerel. as you can see there are hundreds of people here. all they say coming to take this food. now, talking to some they say, well, we have permission from the warehouse owner and then others say this is not looting. others say this is looting. we need the food. >> my friend, my friend, hungry. >> reporter: exactly, exactly. has the government been here to bring you aid? again, the same situation talking to many of them. they say they have seen neither hide nor hair of the government to bring them any form of aid and so this is why they say that they're obliged to come and find food to ransack food in this fashion.
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karl penhaul, cnn, talcahuano, chile. >> so if you're sitting there and hearing these stories and thinking how can i help, you can. go to and there you'll see this huge list of both international aid agencies really working in those disaster zones plus we have details on how you can text in your donations, very easy. fast cash that will cost you. why you should avoid payday loans. top tips in the "cnn newsroom." [ male announcer ] when it comes to reaching your big milestones,
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19 million americans resorted to what are called these payday loans back in 2009. quick cash, costly mistake. cnn's poppy harlow is here with today's top tips. >> reporter: well, here's what's happening. the better business bureau right now is warning people about using online payday lenders. just some background so you know what a payday lender is. it's essentially a loan that's short term, supposed to cover your expenses until you get your next paycheck but you pay really handsomely. the interest on these loans can be more than 500% in some cases. just extraordinary amount of interest there. and what the better business bureau is seeing is that complaints are flooding in from people who signed up for a payday loan on websites like or
11:21 am or what's been happening is people sign up for the loans, get the cash in their bank accounts but the payments keep getting deducted from their bank accounts and going just toward the finance charges for those loans, not towards the principal of the loan so you rack up all of these charges. one extreme example is a woman who made over $1700 in payments on a loan that was just $225. now, using a paybay lender, either online or offline, folks, listen up. this should be the last thing you consider if you're hurting for cash. i want to tell you some options to try first. talk to your bank about a short-term loan. see what they can do for you. think about maybe breaking a cd and paying a small penalty to get the cash from that savings and also work with a credit counselor. they can sometimes help you find an affordable loan. of course be on the lookout for red flags if you're dealing with one of these lenders. here are some things to look out for. if the lender is not forthcoming about their location or contact information, steer clear of them.
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also if you're not asked for any information except for your name and your bank account number, stay away. and if they don't answer questions in a straightforward way about any fees related to this, then, again, steer clear. all of these things you need to keep an eye on so you don't get ripped off. we want to hear your experiences. let us know what experience you've had with an online payday pender. tell us at money. back to you. top stories now, outrage, anger directed at one man. republican senator jim bunning of kentucky. here he is. he's blocking an extension of jobless and health care benefits for the unemployed. bunning says congress should first pay for the $10 billion package. we're talking about this and want to hear from you. here's the question, have you been affected by this block on unemployment benefits? can you relate? call us, 877-742-5760.
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write your comments on our blog at and in dallas take a look at some of these pictures we've gotten in. amazing smoke here. this is an early morning fire destroying several restaurants and other businesses in a pretty popular neighborhood. we're told it started before dawn. investigators trying to determine what happened, the cause. basketball tonight, hockey tomorrow in the same arena. who makes that happen? the night shift, of course. in focus.
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you see that, i guess, rob
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marciano, that's what we call snow in atlanta. >> how about that. >> it's just kind of snowy, watery. i'm such a dork. i woke up, raced to my window, nothing. but now, a little snow. >> yeah. listen, it's like when you're trying to get a snow day when you were a young kid in school. a lot of times it's not always there. maybe it will come later in the day, maybe it will come over the weekend but for kids in atlanta or the northern suburbs a lot of them are going home early because of the snow piling up. you're looking at centennial park down here in downtown atlanta. still snowing heavily, but it's only accumulating at least in the city on some of the grassy surfaces. temperatures were in the mid-50s yesterday afternoon so that kind of heated up the asphalt a fair amount and that's retaining some of the heat. but what we're also retaining is this circulation, which isn't moving very quickly off towards the east. you can see all of the snow that's really piled up, especially north of i-20. it's just kind of rotating in and out and the circulation has to get through atlanta before we
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start to see the snow taper off. i don't think that's going to be until probably mid to late afternoon. so this is what we're thinking as far as accumulations. 1 to 2 inches of snow in atlanta proper, maybe 3 or 4 in some of the northern suburbs. again, mostly on grassy surfaces. secondary roads certainly. then temperatures are going to drop tonight and will get below freezing. tomorrow morning certainly will be a slick go of it. what we expect to happen after that, it will move to the north and east and become a coastal event, a wind and snowstorm, and that will get philly and d.c. and boston into the mix. how much snow will they get? probably not a lot but we'll fine tune that forecast tomorrow. atlanta, you're seeing five-hour delays right now. air tran cancelled flights, delta cancelled 250. they probably will cancel more. deicing operations anticipated this afternoon and that is going to spell a big old ugly mess if you're trying to use any sort of travel along the east coast today. >> got to know people in boston looking at atlanta thinking, oh, brother, calling off school for this. hey, all right.
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rob, thank you. >> all right, see ya. the thrashers and the hawks, two home teams, two totally different sports, butty see there's just one philips arena where they play. ever wonder how they do that, go from the hardwood to the hard ice? not magic, hard work. eddie cortez shows us the people who makes sure home court is big enough for two in our night shift in focus series. >> a final score for tonight's game, the tampa bay lightning 2, your atlanta thrashers 1. >> the games end at 9:30 at night. we're starting at 10:00. we change this building over every night from hockey to basketball, basketball to hockey. >> this is what we call the third shift, the night shift. when everybody else is asleep, this is when this building can change from one thing to the next.
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it's extremely physical and very hard work. >> yeah, it is. it is hard work. sometimes you get those two days off and you really enjoy those. >> a lot of people don't like working at night. then again, i know people who wake up at 4:00 in the morning to go to work and i don't think i could do that. >> it's 12:00 now and we've got hockey deconstructed. the ice is covered. the basketball court is still coming out. i have 15 cart loads. >> you put the pins in the floor pieces and putting the floor together like that. >> it's 1:15 in the morning. we're about seven carts into our basketball laydown. >> you get used to it. you stay busy so the night goes kind of quick. >> they have a morning skate at 10:00. i have to have the ice ready for that. the same thing for basketball.
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10:00 in the morning is usually the first shoot-around unless there's a matinee game. >> yeah, by 4:00 or 5:00 we usually get through. >> basketball floor is down. now we're heading into the final finishing touches. >> they have a set of bleachers over here that has to come out. you just have to train your body to be up at night if you're not a night person. >> it is what it is. in the middle of the night, this is like somebody has to do it. i'll take it. >> if you'd like to hear more about the people, maybe you, maybe you're about to go to bed right now, those who work all night long to bring us some of the things we take for grand, tune into the cnn special, we're calling it "nightshift in focus." you can watch it saturday, march 13th, 3:00 p.m. eastern. one, two, oh, maybe $3,000 in rebates. president obama's brand new plan to stimulate job growth and perhaps spruce up your home. for me to breathe. copd
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may have a higher chance of pneumonia. advair may increase your risk of osteoporosis and some eye problems. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure before taking advair. i'm glad you came, grandma. oh, me too. if copd is still making it hard to breathe, ask your doctor if including advair will help improve your lung function for better breathing. (announcer) get your first full prescription free and save on refills. wow, you look great! thanks! it's this new wish yourself thin program. i just wish it and it happens. it's probably those fiber one bars you're eating. i know they help me stick to my diet. the bars are 90 calories and the fiber helps you feel full. 90 calories and high fiber. so that's why this diet thing is working. but it's weird because my wish for lorenzo came true. [ male announcer ] new fiber one 90 calorie bars. hungry no. results yes.
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air force one about to touch down in savannah, georgia, where the president will be promoting this new program, a rebate
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program called home star. it's designed to save you a little money, make your home a little more energy efficient and create jobs all at once. cnn senior white house correspondent ed henry joins me from savannah. ed, i'm guessing you are somewhere inside the savannah technical college. walk me through where you are and what he will be talking about. >> reporter: well, it is actually kind of an interesting behind-the-scenes story about that. it's sort of a machine shop here at savannah technical college. the president's speech is going to be a five, six-minute walk away from here. and originally the white house press was going to set up and do live shots like this from the library right near where the president is going to speak in the college, but white house staff we're told last night as they were putting all this together decided that a better backdrop for them would be something like this machine shop. they thought the library we're told was not the best backdrop. it gives you an idea of how they're trying to manage the message, make sure that everything that people hear about this, about the president reaching out at a college like
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this, kind of promoting jobs, the economy, and i think the other thing to note is the fact that while the president will be making this push for energy efficient homes that he thinks will create jobs by retrofitting these homes for energy efficiency while also improving the environment, i'm told by white house aides it's also likely the president will hit senator jim bunning for the story you've been talking about and have been talking about for a couple of days about this filibuster to block an unemployment benefits extension for people who are out of work. the president's press secretary, robert gibbs, a few moments ago back at the white house once again hitting senator bunning, my colleague suzanne malveaux was there and said basically robert gibbs was saying while they could debate this out on principle and whether or not the congress should be paying for these benefits in the long run that this is an emergency situation right now and this money needs to get out to these people who decemberly need it. what's interesting is it's sort of served up for the white house
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to keep hitting senator bunning on this. they have been doing it a few days but this will be the first chance for the president himself to sort of weigh in and it shows how they realize they have got to get back on this jobs issue and this bunning situation is a great opportunity for them politically to do just that, brooke. >> i know the unemployment rate in savannah a little better than nationwide. i think it's 8.4%. a lot of people will be listening when it comes to jobs and also when it comes to the home star rebate program. we'll be listening to both of those comments and bring it to you live. ed, we'll talk to you next hour. thank you. just a reminder, you can see president obama's reminders on the jobs, rebates and the economy and perhaps even senator bunning, 12:30 eastern time live from san va an right here in the "cnn newsroom." black children totally left behind. >> and then you've got over 80% of black children in fourth and eighth and 12th grade who cannot read or compute at grade level. if you cannot read or compute in this globalizing economy, you
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are being sentenced to socioeconomic death. >> three major african-american churches coming together to save their youth.
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top stories here. chile's president warns looting and lawlessness will not be tolerated. unrest has totally broken out in areas hardest hit by saturday's massive earthquake. thousands of people still without food, water, basic necessities. the president promises everyone will receive aid today. we're also watching the weather radar. take a look with me. a storm, you can see it, moving into the southeast that can bring several inches of snow. there's centennial olympic park, a little bit of windshield action clearing out that camera. already dozens of flights have been cancelled. i'm jay leno, your host, at least for a while. i've got to admit i'm a little bit nervous. not because it's my first night back, because i know dave and oprah are watching. >> jay leno back behind the desk of "the tonight show." a new desk in fact but same old jay. once the ratings are in, we'll let you know whether leno's viewers followed him home.
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a summit to save the black community. leaders from the largest african-american methodist churches are meeting right now for the first time in 45 years. this is one of our faces of the story. we're focusing on problems facing specifically young black men. i want to get the conversation going here with cnn's don lemon, he's at that gathering in columbia, south carolina. don, what issues are we talking about here? what are they focusing on? >> reporter: we're talking about a whole lot of issues. before we get to that, when you mentioned talking about the members of the methodist church, the three largest black methodist churches or denominations, we're talking about five million members combined. it's a lot of people and they have got a lot of power here. over the course of the next two or three days we'll see about 5,000 people show up here in columbia, south carolina. we're live as you can hear some of the people applauding and some of the speakers on the stage. we're at the coliseum, the coliseum in columbia, south carolina. here's the thing, we're talking
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about the issues. the reason they're doing this is because despite what's going on in washington, despite what you hear from the urban league, despite what you hear from all those organizations, they believe that the churches in this country are going to help the problems with youth. here's the issue they're seeing. only 41% of african-american males end up graduating high school. that's according to the great gathering here and that's what they're calling this, the great gathering. they said african-american youth are arrested twice as often as white youth. and the homicide is the leading cause of death among young african-american men. now, they tried to get to some of the bishops for these churches and for these denominations wanted to get some people who could relate to the people who are coming here and who could relate to young people, so who do they reach out to? marian wright edelman and dr. cornell west, a leading instructor and leading speaker on race in this country. marian wright edelman compared the problems that young african-americans are facing to apartheid and also says this is the biggest crisis facing
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african-americans since slavery. listen to her to see why she came here yesterday to speak to this crowd. >> we know how to do this right and to support families. we've got to create the political will an spiritual will to make it happen and reweave the fabric of community and fami family. >> reporter: right now they're breaking off to go into meetings to talk about the economy, health care, education, and there's going to be a prayer walk a little bit later on today where they pray for the young people and pray that all these initiatives they're trying to put in place and these meetings that they work out and of course a big gospel concert tonight and then tomorrow there's something special that i'll tell you about, if you're interested, brooke, i'm not sure. >> you have me sitting here with baited breath, don lemon, i can't imagine what that might be. go ahead, take it. >> reporter: they invited the president of the united states to give the closing remarks and he's going to do it in some way. will he come, will he do it by videotape? you'll have to stick around.
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>> we'll have to wait and see. you mentioned, i want to go back to that statistic. you said 41% of young black men graduate high school. that would make sense if perhaps educators are leading the charge here and speaking at this conference. why specifically churches? why are these three major churches walking through this? taking a stand? >> reporter: you know, i kind of answered that a little bit in the beginning because when i talked to the people here, they say regardless of what's going on in washington, the president and the administration can help. regardless of what's going on when you hear about the urban league and naacp, they feel that they need the cornerstone, what they think the cornerstone of the african-american community is or at least used to be and that's the church. listen to what cornell west had to say. >> we want three things. we want spiritual inspiration, we want analytical insight and we want a sense of coming together, organizing and mobilizing. you have to have all three. you have to have some sense of what sustains us. that's why it's church-based.
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>> reporter: so, brooke, they end of this they get together and talk about what they tried to establish in these different groups, in these different workshops and see if they're going to work and present a plan. then from there they try to execute it. so, again, a big plan coming out of here. their message to help young african-americans, especially young men. >> all right, don lemon, i guess we'll have to see if they get a message from the president. kind of busy in savannah today. maybe can make a little time. don, thank you. out of work and out of benefits. a woman losing her unemployment has one very strong message for the senator blocking her payments. woman down from nasal allergy attack.
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he just doesn't want to add to the nation's rising deficit and he defended his tactics. listen. >> it's not a filibuster when you object. and that ought to be brought out clearly. a filibuster is when you stand on this floor and you talk and talk and talk. i have not done that. >> so who's really listening to this? that's you, the folks who are out of work, out of jobs right now who are relying on these unemployment benefits to keep you going. you're taking aim at senator bunning. one woman in particular, this is linda calvin. she is one of our faces of the story today. unemployed, out of benefits, she shared her story today on cnn's "american morning." >> do you think washington gets it? >> no. washington doesn't get it because they are not unemployed. they're not affected by the unemployment rate. they're not affected by the people who can't pay their rent. they're not affected by the
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people who can't buy grower reez for their children. they're not affected by of any these things. >> and i understand that you were forced to move in with your daughter for a bit. just recently as you said you got back your own place and you were trying to help take care of your niece as well. so what are you going to do now if in fact this isn't passed and that there are no benefits and the check stops coming? >> actually i probably will have to apply for welfare and food stamps and medical card. and maybe that will pay for food, but it won't pay for our living arrangements. i need a job or i need my extended benefits desperately. >> and, linda, what are the prospects like out there? >> well, i've been unemployed since may of 2009, and i have sent out hundreds of applications and resumes and i have not even had a call back. the economy is bad. businesses are closing. there are no new jobs coming to kentucky for people to even
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apply to. so it makes it difficult. >> and what would you say to senator bunning, if you could? >> senator bunning, i would say to him, bring some businesses here. do something to bring business here. you're trying to save money, but fine, bring businesses the economy will improve. when people have money, they pay bills. they work. they shop. they -- they encourage the economy, they uplift the economy. if you're cutting off people's pay, the economy is going to go down. and it's not going to be a pretty picture. >> no. and it's interesting, i'd like to get your thoughts on this one as well, republican senator jon kyl made the case jed as all this is being debated in the halls of congress that actually continuing to give unemployment benefits dissuades people and it's a disincentive for people to try to get out there and get back into the job market. what do you think? >> that's ridiculous. people don't want to live on free money. you can't have a future.
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you can't make goals. you're stuck. when you are dependent on one particular income and there's no way out. >> and do you understand, at least one of senator bunning's points, that if we're going to pass programs to keep people on unemployment insurance and to provide other programs, that these programs should be paid for? and his complaint is that they weren't being paid for. do you understand that point at all? >> it's kind of hard to grasp, but i understand that unpaid bills are unpaid bills. but we're talking about people's lives. we're talking about children that are going to go hungry. we're talking about where's the money going to come from to take care of these people? is it going to come out of his pocket to pay it? no. president obama, we're in america, you know? we need to take care of our people. i'm not the only one unemployed, and the reason i'm sitting here now is because this state is in
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a big unemployment. and it's growing and growing. businesses are not coming in. people are not finding work. people that have had jobs are taking menial jobs. >> right. >> because they just can't find anything, and it's a desperate time. >> we want to let you know we are not going far from that story. here's what we're working on for the next hour of "cnn newsroom," speak spoog ing of a this, hundreds of thousands of americans are finding that their jobless benefits could soon be cut. i'll be talking with a father of three from atlanta. also we head live to savannah, georgia, president obama will be talking about jobs as well. possibly making his first comments about senator bunning. but he'll also be talking about the new program he outlined in the state of the union speech, talking about creating -- creating jobs, maybe saving some money, energy-efficient appliances. we'll carry his remarks live on cnn. that will be at 12:30 eastern time.
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you know, the slogan neither snow nor rain will stop the post office from delivering your maim, bmaim mail, but the economy might just do that. alison kosik is on the floor of the new york stock exchange with the details. they are talking about cutting saturday service altogether. >> reporter: that's right, brooke. but keep in mind it's only a proposal. congress has to approve the plan, but the u.s. postal service is putting it in wrighting today, proposing that mail delivery go to only five days a week, so most likely the saturday service is going to go away. they are also proposing other cuts, including cutting local branches and expanding the self-service kiosks where you can mail your own letters and buy your own stamps which are convenient. all of this happening, of course, because the u.s. postal service is an independent government agency. it doesn't get any money from the government. it does not get your taxpayer
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dollars and that is why we are seeing the u.s. postal service in the red. as for the stocks not in the red today, the dow industrials in the green, up 41 points. the nasdaq up about 14. we got some sales numbers from general motors. we found out that sales from february rose 12%. we're rallying on that news. brooke, back to you. >> alison kosik, thank you. you can always get more on the story, the cutbacks, all you have to do is go to >> reporter: okay. my name is chef michael. and when i come home from my restaurant, i love showing bailey how special she is. yes, you are. i know exactly what you love, don't i? - [ barks ] - mmm. aromas like rotisserie chicken. and filet mignon. yeah, that's what inspired a very special dry dog food. [ woman ] introducing chef michael's canine creations.
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time for your "top of the hour" reset. hi, everyone, i'm brooke baldwin, here for you in the "cnn newsroom." it is 12:00 noon in the city of savannah, georgia, where the president will be unveiling his new program that he says will create jobs while giving your home a makeover. we'll bring it to you live in about a half an hour from now. meanwhile back in washington, a republican senator has presented a roadblock to new jobless benefits and other federal spending. and 2:00 p.m. in chile, where the president there doubles the number of troops in the earthquake-ravaged zone and welcomes the u.s. secretary of state. let's get started here. first, let's talk about president obama, yes, he's on the road, or perhaps still in the sky, peddling his new rebate plan. it's designed to create jobs and spruce up your home at the same time. make it a little bit more energy efficient, but there's more to this story right now. senior white house correspondent, ed henry, is traveling with the president there in savannah.
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ed, i want to get to the new point you made last hour, we talked about republican senator jim bunning blocking the bill extending jojless benefits to so many americans and you're saying we may hear the president address that very point. >> reporter: that's right, brooke. white house aides telling us privately we should expect the president to address the situation back in washington. it's sort of tailor-made for the president to jump on it. white house aides for days now have been hitting senator bunning. they've been frankly looking for a political angle to really push back on the republicans on a whole series of issues. you've been obviously seeing the frustrations the white house has had about republican delaying tactics on health care, but also on the job situation. now they have an opportunity at the white house to basically say, that because of one republican senator, there are hundreds of thousands of people in jeopardy of benefits that they need. and robert gibbs this morning at the white house, in fact, telling reporters that he understands the point in general that senator bunning is trying to make about spending in
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washington and the need to pay for all of these initiatives, but in this case, robert gibbs says, look, it's an emergency. people desperately need this. and he basically said, something to the effect, you can't negotiate with the irrational, that they just feel at the white house that one republican senator trying to block this and effectively blocking it for days now is an irrational act and that's why we can expect the president in his economic remarks today to jump on it. it plays right in to what some of the major political points he's trying to make about his efforts. you mentioned weatherizing homes. one way to maybe create some construction jobs, for example, but also his secondary point that he's been making, a lot of these, what the white house likes to call white house-to-main street tours, he's trying to point the finger at republican delays tactics in washington to try to reel in some of the independent voters who are wondering why in the world can't they get anything done in washington. the president has taken his share of the blame from voters
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clearly in some of the special elections we've seen in recent months. now he's trying to point out that republicans are largely to blame for that. and so this is tailor-made for him to jump on, brooke. >> i was reading the op-eds in the savannah newspapers, so many people are saying we haven't seen the stimulus funding, translated to the jobs. a lot of them will be list scmng we will also be listening to hear if he says anything with what's going on with regard to the kentucky senator. ed henry, we'll see you back here in probably half an hour. meantime, senator jim bunning refusing to back down again today. this republican from kentucky, blocked the senate bill extending unemployment benefits for the jobless. now, the senator's position is under fire from people in his own state, who are out of work and running out of their own benefits. >> senator bunning, i would say to him, bring some businesses here. do something to bring business here. you're trying to save money, that's fine. but bring businesses here.
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put people to work. the economy will work. when people have money, they pay bills. they work. they shop. they -- they encourage the economy. they uplift the economy. if you're cutting off people's pay, the economy is going to go down. and it's -- it's not going to be a pretty picture. now, senator bunning, again, defending his position took to the senate floor as i said earlier. he read this letter of support he had received. and the letter essentially praised bunning and criticized the other lawmakers the pay as you praise. >> they run for cover and vote for anything they think will win them another vote or another term. your stance in holding them to their words and expecting them to actually do what they voted for is a refreshing concept in an otherwise corrupt
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hypocrisy-based power base known as washington, d.c. >> you think you saw the senator speaking on the floor of the senate. not really wanting to talk this woman, senior congressional correspondent, dana bash. i know you have elevator doors slammed in your face, and trying to talk to senator bunning, and you had a couple of exchanges. what, if anything, did the senator tell you today? >> reporter: running on heels, brooke. >> nice. >> reporter: one of the things the democrats are asking why senator bunning has chosen this issue, and frankly republicans have been asking this, too. they are worried about the political fallout. why this politically popular issue to stand his ground on when it comes to fiscal restraint. that's what i tried to ask the senator as he was coming off the elevator this morning. do you mind if i ask you -- i have really just a couple of easy questions for you to answer. >> i bet you do. >> reporter: no, sir, specifically on the fact that i
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understand your point. i understand your point that you're making about paying for the expenses, but what democrats are asking, i think it's a fair question, why now, why not before? >> it has been. >> reporter: why hasn't you called -- what has changed? what has changed? why are you now calling for things to be paid for? now, brooke, that was this morning, just moments ago, our congressional producer, ted barrett, actually rode the subway with senator bunning. it's a situation where there was no where for him to go, and he actually did give some news to -- to our ted barrett, and that is, he suggested for the first time, under mounting pressure, that maybe there is something to be worked out with the leadership. he talked exclusively to ted barrett, and he said that we're trying to work it out. we have some leadership in my legislative director working on some alternatives. let's put it that way. unclear what those alternatives would be, because, brooke, even this morning, republicans -- fellow republicans tried to come
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up with some idea that looked like it could be amenable to senator bunning, and he objected. >> might be able to work something out. you led into my next point, that being, what about republicans? are they sort of staying silent on the issue, or are they supporting the democrats? >> reporter: what has been really fascinating, brooke, is the silence from the republican leader, mitch mcconnell. he's a fellow kentuckian who is pretty well known. a pretty terrible relationship with senator bunning, one of the reasons senator bunning is retiring is because of that bad relationship, so he has been silent. it's almost like a parallel universe on the senate floor this morning, all this discussion on this issue and senator mcconnell came in and ignored it and talked about the issue of health care. but there was one republican who went to the senate floor, senator susan collins of maine, she's a moderate and she said, look, many of my colleagues, including myself, we don't agree with senator bunning. we want this resolved. listen to what she said -- >> i hope that we can act together for the american people
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and, again, i want to emphasize that this issue is so important to senators on both sides of the aisle. many of my colleagues have expressed concerns to me that this was not done last week, when it should have been done. >> reporter: now, what she offered was a compromise idea. she said, look, let's vote to extend this $10 billion worth of benefits and programs. and let's allow senator bunning to have a vote on the idea of whether or not it should be paid for. and, guess what, senator bunning objected to that. so, it's at a standstill right now on the senate floor, but maybe senator bunning gave our ted barrett a little bit of news and suggesting programs perhaps that there may be movement on both sides. >> thank you for making news nor us in the newsroom. we want to put a face on the story, want to introduce you to
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joe ohr, here's his lovely family. he's an unemployed father, you can see, of three. just one of the many americans who just found out this week his unemployment checks will stop coming. what will he say to senator bunning? here he is. we'll hear from him in just a few minutes. but right now, the day's other big stories. for the third time in a week, toyota executives explaining their safety recall to congress. three executives were answering some questions from the senate commerce committee today. toyota has asked president clinton's transportation secretary rodney slater to lead a quality control review. it's been talked about for a year now, but today the u.s. postal service is taking the very first formal steps to end the mail delivery saturday. the postal service lost almost $4 billion last year. in the end the decision, though, will be up to congress. this with one of the biggest u.s. supreme court cases really of the year so far. we're waiting for the high court
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to rule on whether chicago's handgun ban violates the second amendment. kate bolduan is inside that court. we'll go to her as soon as we hear anything from there. our "random moment" coming up in 90 seconds. and a man whose unemployment check runs out, we'll hear from him minutes ahead. we are also hearing from you. >> i've been affected. i have two kids, a newborn, as a matter of fact, and now i don't even know how i am going to pay my rent. i was laid off not even six months ago and i have no income at all. >> caller: it seems to me that senator bunning is just trying to act on the very legislation that was just voted on. >> caller: what better way to allocate money than tangible spending that's actually helping people on the -- on the ground. if you've taken your sleep aid and you're still fighting to sleep in the middle of the night, why would you go one more round using it ?
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we know he can moonwalk, but can he someba, buzz aldrin makes our "random moment of the day." he will soon be "dancing with the stars," he's signed up for the spring season of the hit abc show, we've got some suggest aches, "bad moonrising," "dark
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side of the moon," "fly me to the moon."
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millions of americans who don't have jobs claim unemployment each and every week, and one atlanta man sitting right next to me found out his benefits were ending by logging on to his e-mail. imagine getting that blow from the computer. that's exactly what happened to joe ohr here. joe, you hopped online, what, sunday, you're a dad, we saw the picture of your family. three kids, wife, stay-at-home mom. >> yes. >> you get on the internet, you see what? >> i see that the -- the extended benefits had been stopped. and -- and, you know, of course, hearing the news, we understand why now.
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>> but before you heard the news, were you kind of thinking, hold on a second, am i reading this right? >> yeah, i was a little -- a little taken back -- taken aback, you know? you really on that money every day to help you pay the bills. >> to pay the bills. >> yeah. >> let's back up a minute. explain your situation to me. you've been out of work for how long? >> i've actually been out 14 months now. >> 14 months. >> 14 months. >> not easy. >> not easy, no. >> how hard is it to try to find a job? >> it's not easy. i was in the adhesive chemical industry, and as we know, i was tied in, linked in, with the building construction industry, the manufacturers for that industry, and we know what happened to the housing market. >> yeah, yeah. >> overall the chemical industry is just really down right now. >> so, you've been banging down doors trying to get a job back in that industry, you've been making ends meet with how much per week? >> well, the unemployment benefits are about $330 per week. >> $330 per week. >> yeah. >> three kids.
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>> yes. >> how's that been for you? >> it's not easy. i mean, unfortunately -- fortunately my wife and i have saved money, and we budgeted. but, you know, the budget money is starting to get thinner and thinner as we go. >> starting to erode. >> that's right. >> at what point -- when, again, will your benefits completely run out? >> as far as the unemployment benefits? >> uh-huh. >> well, they're stopped right now. >> they're totally stopped right now. >> they're stopped right now. >> so, as you move in order and you're just working off this eroding savings, at what point do you, i don't know, sell your house? >> that's right. i mean, the next step would be probably selling the house or trying to sell it, you know, to stop from any foreclosure to getting to that point. and i hope i don't get that far, but unfortunately, there's a lot of people out there that are a lot worse off than i am right now so -- >> how do you explain that to your kids? >> we actually talked to them about budgeting and everything.
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>> did you? >> they know it's a tough recession. they understand that somewhat. the two older ones do. and when we were setting up a budget, we actually, you know, we would actually do cash only for everything. we actually created envelopes, a gentleman named bill furr actually hemed us get staactual actually helped us get started on it. >> you are teaching your kids through the real-life example? >> we would give them an envelope and we would give them allowance, and they'd set aside money for saving and spending money and money to give to charitable or tithing of some sort. >> final, final question -- >> sure. >> -- if you had senator jim bunning sitting next to you, what would you tell him? >> i would tell him and some of the other politicians to really get a reality check. >> reality check. >> and understand what's going on down in the real world, to be honest. i think some of these politicians get carried away, and they don't understand what -- what the people are really looking for, and maybe to
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touch base with his people in his home base, and understand that, you know, what the people are looking for. >> well, we appreciate you sharing your story. >> yeah. >> good luck finding a job. >> right. >> keep the faith. you want a reality check from mr. bunning. joe orr, we appreciate you coming in and talking to me. you know how to comparison shop when you're buying a car, perhaps even a pair of shoes, but did you know that you can do it for medical procedures as well, our medical advocate, senior medical correspondent, elizabeth cohen, will be here to tell you how to save thousands.
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want to check some of your top stories now, including the fact that secretary of state, hillary clinton, in chile today, where she experienced firsthand one of those 90-plus aftershocks still rattling that nation. more than 700 people died after that 8.8 magnitude quake struck saturday and the tsunami that followed. governor texas rick perry
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and kay bailey hutchison making last-second appearances to win over the very khosted undecided voters. both hope to seal the republican race for governor in today's primary election. and it's been about three decades now since jerry brown was california's governor, but today he's expected to announce that he wants that seat yet again. brown, 71 years of age. he'll be sitting down with our own larry king, tonight, 9:00 eastern, to talk about his somewhat unconventional political career. we'll make sure to get you another check of our top stories in 20 minutes' time. but i want to tell you about this story. when it comes to health and your health care specifically, perhaps you don't think about bargain shopping, but perhaps you should, elizabeth cohen shows us how much you can save if you shop around for health care. >> reporter: here in concord, new hampshire, like anyplace, when you go shopping, you can do price comparisons, whether you're looking for a car or a pair of shoes. but what i think people here, or anywhere else, fail to realize is that you can also go
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comparison shopping for health care services and save yourself thousands of dollars, so, come on, let's go bargain shopping for a colonoscopy. the first stop is southern new hampshire medical center. they charge nearly $5,000 for a colonoscopy. let's see if we can get a better deal. come on. here at the concord ambulatory surgery center, a colins onosco would cost be $2,800, so by coming herery i saved more than $2,000. it pays to bargain shop. i'm excited about how well i did, that now i'm going to go bargain shopping for a hernia surgery. here at st. joseph's hospital, they charge $13,400 to repair a hernia. that's so expensive, i'm not getting out of the car. i'll try to find something
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cheaper. at elliott hospital they only charge about $4,500 to do a hernia repair. it's the exact same procedure. why does it cost $9,000 less here? i'm going to call these high-priced hospitals and ask them, why do you charge so much? hi, this is elizabeth cohen calling from cnn. the hospitals wouldn't comment. so, i found someone who can explain these crazy health care prices to us. her name is heather staples, and she analyzes prices of health care for large employers in new hampshire. i go shopping for a gallon of milk, and there's a huge price difference, i'm going to see it right there on the shelf. but with medical services people don't know. there's no price tag. >> that's correct. and it's even difficult for consumers to call a facility and ask for the price of services. >> reporter: so it's actually the reason for these discrepancies in some ways is pretty simple, which is that when you go buy a colonoscopy, there's no price tag on it. >> that's correct. >> reporter: give me another example of a procedure where
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there's wild differences all in the same city. >> sure. the knee scope. at dartmouth, south, it's about $5,300. in the same region, at st. joseph's hospital, it's about $10,500. >> reporter: so, we all bargain shop for cars and things like that. does it pay to bargain shop for medical services? >> oh, it absolutely does. we're talking about a $5,000 difference, it absolutely makes a lot of sense to do it. >> okay. that is nuts, elizabeth cohen. and i know, okay, so it's worth shopping. but i know how it goes, sometimes you feel you're buying something a little bit more expensive and you're getting something better, which perhaps is such a misnomer. are you getting better quality services? >> you're not. and you're also not getting worse quality when you play less money. rocky, our photographer, told us, at the lower price places, you don't get anesthesia, and that's not true. as a matter of fact, when you saw that example that we just did, what we saw is that at
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dartmouth, you pay $5,000 less for a knee laparoscopic surgery and dartmouth is one of the best hospitals around, so price and quality usually do not go hand in hand. >> so, how do you suggest shopping around? pick up the phone and asking for different prices? >> it's very tricky. it's very tricky, so, i'll tell you a couple of things. you are lucky if you live in new hampshire or massachusetts, because you can go online if you don't have insurance and find out the prices. now, if you don't live in one of the two states, what you have to do is you go to your insurance company and you ask them. they'll be able to tell you what will cost you the least out of pocket. the chances are they'll be able to tell you that. if you're uninsured, it's tough, you'll have to call for places and ask for a price. very difficult to do. i take my hat off at anyone who successful at it, you have to be tenacious. the prices in our story were for folks that were uninsured, we had to pick uninsured, different insurances, so we picked
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uninsured. >> thank you very much. it's interesting. i love these stories. tomorrow elizabeth will be back on and she'll talk more about how hospitals are saving money when it comes to having a baby. so, we'll talk about that tomorrow, shall we?
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just want to take a quick live look at that podium there. that is the savannah technical college. we should be seeing the president walk behind that podium and give a quick speech, sometime between five, ten minutes from now. he'll be talking about jobs, energy-efficient appliances, things of that nature. and as soon as we see him, we'll bring it live to you in cnn. meanwhile, staying in georgia, yeah, we're talking about snow. look at this. maybe it's wet stuff coming
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down, live pictures outside of centennial park, right across from where i'm sitting. chad myers tracking the storms. i came in early enough that i didn't see the white stuff, but i trust it's there. >> yeah, it is. especially north and west of the city, the temperatures are cold enough to support some of the sticking snow. what we have down here in atlanta is just basically the wet. you can kind of see a little bit on the grassy pieces there. a little bit of white. but this is not going to be a big event. now, after dark, some of this wetness may refreeze, especially at the bridge level. frozen now. it's falling down, hitting the ground, melting because the ground is warm. almost 60 degrees in atlanta yesterday. while that now is going to start cooling down, especially as the sun sets and a couple of inches even from greenville back out toward -- and i can imagine how beautiful asheville will be with a beautiful light scote icoatin there. down south, cold weather heading into miami and also monroe county.
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but here is the snow. it's just every next storm that we get, brooke, is going to be 1 or 2 degrees warmer, and so, therefore, it's going to be harder and harder to get snow with every progressive storm. that means the days are getting longer, at least a little bit, and punxsutawney phil has run out of his six weeks in just a little bit of time and spring is almost here. >> bring it on, chad myers. bring it on. >> thank you. it's not snowing in savannah, do you agree? the president will be talking about the mini stimulus plan, in savannah, a pretty town on the coast. he'll get to hang out at least for the afternoon. he'll talk about the home star plan before he speaks. we'll talk about the stimulus big picture in the "cnn newsroom." ooh.
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all right. take a look. we have people on their feet, inside the savannah technical college in savannah, georgia, you can see the president shaking some hands and you can see he's getting energized on this trip to georgia. it will give consumers $1,000, $2,000, $3,000 rebates on
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energy-efficient standards. >> thank you. thank you, take your seats. it is good to be back in georgia. it is good to be back in georgia, although where's the sun guys? i was looking forward to -- >> fired up. >> i'm still fired up, but we're still getting a lot of snow in washington, d.c., so i was looking forward to maybe 60, 70 degrees, but i guess i'll take 50. i want to, first of all, just make some acknowledgements of some wonderful leaders who are here. first of all, i want to thank president kathy love and the entire savannah community for their hospitality. i want to thank your governor, who i just had a chance to see recently, hosting in the white house, with the other governors, mr. sonny perdue.
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your mayor, otis johnson, is in the house. congressman john barrel, you're in his district. that's right. congressman jack kingston. congressman sanford bishop. and congressman hank johnson. they are all in the house. well, thank you so much for taking the time to be here today. i really appreciate the opportunity to visit here at savannah tech, and i just took a brief tour of some of the classrooms, where students are learning about clean energy. they're learning about solar cells. they're learning about efficient heating and cooling systems. you've got young people here,
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who through the youth build program, are gaining job skills that will help them the rest of their lives, and, by the way, they're building a house right now while they're at it. and so -- you know, from the instructors to the students, you saw just an incredible enthusiasm for america's future, and i was just talking to president love about the focus of savannah tech on clean energy. the idea that this can be a real model for green energy as a way of linking students to the enormous job studeopportunit op jobs in the future. this will transform our country, the way we produce and use energy, and that's so important. especially to families in
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georgia and across america, who continue to experience the painful consequences of the worst economic crisis that we've had in generations. now, i also had a chance to meet with some business owners, who told me what i've heard time and again. that it's tough out there. unemployment in georgia is still above 10%. that doesn't include folks who have had to accept part-time jobs or in some cases have given up finding a job altogether. when it comes to domestic policy, i have no more important job as president than seeing to it that every american who wants to work and is able to work can find a job, and a job that pays a living wage. that was my focus last year, and that is my focus this year. to lay a foundation for economic growth that will create jobs, that raises income, that will
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foster a secure economic future for middle-class families. now, this depends on not just spurring hiring, but doing so in the areas that will create lasting opportunities and prosperity. that's why we've invested in roads and railways, so that our economy has room to grow, and we're laying the infrastructure for the future. in fact, because the recovery act, there are more than 300 transportation projects under way in georgia right now. that's why we invested in schools and prevented layoffs, of hundreds of thousands of teachers and public school workers, including thousands of educators in this state. because we know we will not be able to compete in new industries unless we've got workers ready to fill jobs in those industries, and i'd also point out that i proposed the
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largest ever investment in community colleges and technical schools like this one, to produce millions more graduates, who are ready to meet the demands of the 21st century economy. and to spur hiring and sustained growth, we placed a big emphasis on energy. just a few weeks ago i announced a loan guarantee to break ground on the first new nuclear power plant in our country in nearly three decades. a project right here in georgia, right here in georgia. a project that's going to create more than 3,000 construction jobs in the next few years and ultimately 800 permanent jobs operating the plant. we're on track to create 700,000 jobs across america, building advanced batteries for hybrid cars and modernizing our electric grid and doubling our
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capacity to generate clean energy. and, in fact, here at savannah tech, the recovery act provided the grant to youth build to help provide training in these very fields because -- because i'm convinced that the country that leads in clean energy is also going to be the country that leads in the global economy, and i want america to be that nation. i don't want us to be second place or third place or fourth place when it comes to the new energy technologies. i want us to be in first. so, we have the potential to create millions of jobs in this sector. these are jobs building more fuel-efficient cars and trucks to make us energy independent. these are jobs producing solar panels and erecting wind turbines. these are jobs designing and manufacturing and selling, and installing, more efficient building materials, because 40% of the energy we use is used by
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our homes and buildings. think about that. all of us know that we use a lot of gas in our cars. but in terms of energy usage, 40% of it goes to our homes and our buildings. so, as we're looking for additional initiatives to spur hiring, i think we ought to embrace what's happening on this campus. i think we ought to continue to embrace the incredible potential that awaits us across america in clean energy. so, in my state of the union address, i called on congress to pass a set of initiatives for homeowners who make their homes more energy efficient, to continue the energy transformation that's already begun. so, today i want to explain the details of this program. and i also want to thank the members of the house and the senate who are helping to usher this proposal through congress. now, many of you have heard of energy star. how many people have heard of energy star? you've seen that energy star sticker on a computer or on a
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microwave. the energy star program was created to promote energy efficiency by letting consumers know which appliances, which electronics, would save electricity, and therefore, would save them money over time. the program i'm describing today applies this concept, not to the appliances, but to the home itself, and it takes it further. so, we're going to call it home star, just to make it easy to remember. all right? here's -- here's -- here's how it would work. we'd identify the kinds of building supplies and systems that would save folks energy over time. and here's one of the best things about energy efficiency. it turns out that energy-efficient windows or insulation, those things are products that are almost exclusively manufactured right here in the united states of america. it's -- you -- it's very hard to
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ship windows from china. and, you know, so a lot of these materials are made right here in america. so, we take these materials. and if a homeowner decides to do work on his or her house, to put in new windows, to replace a heating unit, to insulate an attic, to redo a roof, the homeowner would be eligible for a rebate from the store or the contractor for 50% of the cost of each upgrade, up to $1,500. now, if you decided to retrofit your whole house, to greatly reduce your energy use, you'd be eligible for a rebate of up to $3,000. now, these are big incentives, and you'd get these rebates instantly from the hardware store or the contractor. so, if you went to lowe's or home depots, wherever you went,
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right there when you paid at the cash register, you'd get that money. you wouldn't have to mail in a long form, wait for a check to arrive a month later. now, we know this will save families as much as several hundred dollars on their utilities. we know it will make our economy less dependent on fossil fuels, helping to protect the planet for future generations. but i want to emphasize that home star will also create business and spur hiring up and down the economy. i was just meeting with a number of business leaders in different segments of this industry. we've got the manufacturers, making insulation and windows and other products. we've got folks who are contractors, so stand up, guys, the guys i just met with.
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see, they're all ready -- they're ready to work. they're ready to go. so, we were just talking about how they are geared up, and they've got the capacity to guarantee a homeowner that if they're willing to do this work on their house, they will get their money back. not just through the rebate, but in the energy savings that you're seeing each year. so, let's say you decide to use this rebate to seal up and insulate your attic, because you want to save electricity, but also because you're tired of the drafty house. think about all the ways in which that will stimulate jobs and growth. now, if you really knew what you were doing, you might do it yourself, but you're probably going to have somebody to come to your house and carry out the installation work, because you did the smart thing, and you refused to let your husband do it himself. that's the smart thing. he'll be stubborn.
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he'll tell you he can do it. but don't listen to him. so, that creates work for small businesses and contractors like some of the folks who are here today. and obviously construction work is -- that's been as hard hit as anything during this recession. so, you've got a lot of skilled contractors ready to go. and that, in turn, means that the contractors start hiring some of these folks who may have been laid off. some of them may have been trained right here at savannah tech. you also have to buy the insulation and the other materials, and that means you're producing bims fe ining busines local retailer. and that retailer has to purchase the supplies from the manufacturers, as i said, most of them located right here in the united states of america. and i mentioned, these domestic manufacturers who are in the crowd, they would benefit -- they would benefit from this program. and then there's this huge amount of capacity, excess
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capacity in construction-related industries, to meet any surge of demand that was out there. so, the fact is that, you know, there's nearly 25% unemployment in the construction industry so far. so, construction companies, hardware stores, contractors, manufacturers, they faced a rapid decline in demand in the wake of the mortgage crisis, and to make matters worse, these businesses have seen the same decline in credit that has hurt every sector of our economy. so, these are -- these are companies ready to take on new customers. there are workers eager to do new installations and renovations, factories ready to produce new building supplies. all we've got to do is create the incentives to make it happen. and this is not a democratic idea or a republican idea. this is a commonsense approach that will help jump-start job creation while making our economy stronger. so, ultimately that's what we're
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called to do. just like a responsible homeowner will invest in their homes in the near term to fortify their economic security in the long term, we've got to do the same as a country. it will have some costs on the front end. you buy a new boiler or you get some insulation or you, you know, get some new windows, that's going to have an initial cost. and the same is true from a government perspective, and it's going to be politically difficult to do some of this. but it's -- it's what's right to plan for our future. the same is true when it comes to reforming our education system. the same is true when it comes to trying to make our health care system more affordable. the same is true when it comes to energy. each of these things are hard. some of them have some costs on the front end. and, you know, working stuff through congress is more than a notion.
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but -- but by taking these steps, we'll help foster the kind of broadly shared growth that will serve us in the years and the decades to come. that's how we'll create the conditions for businesses to expand and hire. that's how we'll truly grow our middle-class again. that's how we'll not only rebuild our economy, but we'll rebuild it stronger than it was before this crisis. i am confident that we can do it. savannah tech's leading the way. a whole bunch of folks in this room are leading the way, and i just hope that washington stands alongside you in making sure that we've got the kind of energy future that we need. thank you very much, everybody. god bless you. god bless the united states of america. ♪ >> and there you have it, president of the united states, speaking at savannah tech, talking stimulus, talking jobs,
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speaking specifically about clean energy. basically outlining what he's calling the home star program. so, we americans can get rebates, $1,000, $2,000, $3,000 rebates if we retrofit our homes with more energy efficient appliances and insulations, things that he was talking about. but here's one thing, there was not a single reference to the kentucky senator who was blocking extended unemployment benefits. i want to read an e-mail, the president and his aides decided last minute not to talk about senator bunning to avoid getting mixed up in the senate debate du jour today. we've got new pictures and sound from senator bunning, which we'll bring to you on the other side of the break. when you hear a click, you know it's closed and secure.
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essentially what's happening in the senate, and the story we've been following for you, they need this unanimous vote, unanimous consent, to extend jobless benefits for thousands and ultimately millions of americans. but there's this one senator, a kentucky senator, jim bunning, who is blocking this extension. we heard him again this morning blocking it again. we've been following him around in the halls of the senate. here's new sound.
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want to bring it to you now. >> reporter: how long will this last? when do these people -- >> excuse me. >> reporter: when will these people expect to see their benefits? how long are you willing to keep this going on? >> until we get it settled. >> reporter: and when do you think that will happen? >> we're working on it. >> reporter: do you think it will be settled today? >> hopefully. >> reporter: and are you concerned about how this has played out? >> no, no. i'm not concerned, except for the people. >> reporter: and when will the people begin to see help? >> as soon as possible. >> reporter: okay. now, in jim bunning's defense, he is saying he wants congress to pay for this $10 billion. he doesn't want it to come out of the american taxpayers' pocket. more from jim bunning and people who are up in arms on this issue throughout the "cnn newsroom." sfx: coin drop
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should you cash in your bonds early? and what's the best way to really improve your credit score? our stephanie elam is at the cnn help desk. >> time now for the help desk, where we get answers to your financial questions. joining me this hour, doug flynn a certified financial planner and founder of flynn-zito capital management and donna rosato. thank you for joining us. the first question is from buzz, i own some treasury bonds that i bought about four years ago and mature in ten years. they pay about 4.2% interest. if i choose to sell at some time
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before maturity, how much interest should i be looking for in new bonds? doug, what do you think? >> well, what he's got is basically a six-year bond, because that's the time he has left at 4.2%. that's actually excellent, so new bonds around that time frame are 2% to 3%. so, rates have to come up a lot. the problem when rates go up with treasury bonds, a lot of people don't know, the principal actually goes down. most people don't look what the current value is if you were to sell them today, but if rates are higher a year or two from now, the principal will actually go down. what likely will happen is he should probably end up sticking with it. the rates will have to be much higher than 4.2%. the only way he can get that if he goes out 20 or 30 years. i wouldn't recommend locking in 20 or 30 years when rates are where they are now, you want to do it when rates have a chance to go back up. >> the next question is from claudia who writes, my credit score had been pretty low. i've never been with good with credit cards and i never managed
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to manage my accounts. i just got a stable job with great pay, which i hope helps. what can i do to bring my score up? and how long will it take for the changes to occur. a lot of people are probably in her boat, donna. >> a lot of people are. the recent activity counts more than older activity, so if she can start paying more than the minimum and start paying down the debt, that will start helping her improve her credit score, but, again, she wants to make on-time payments and whittling down the debt and making sure that she isn't going over the limit on any of her credit cards. she wants to make sure that she's making the most of the good, stable job. if she does those things within a few months, she should start seeing a change in her credit score. >> thanks so much, doug and donna. the help desk is all about getting you answers, sew send us an e-mail at and you can also pick up the latest issue of "money" magazine
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